BMW has confirmed it will launch its latest M3 in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The performance saloon will undergo a comprehensive mechanical overhaul for its sixth generation, making the shift from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive for the first time, and our exclusive images preview how the new model could look.
The new BMW M3 will be powered by the M-division’s latest 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, offered in two states of tune. Entry level models will develop 480bhp, while the more powerful “Competition” flagship will produce 510bhp. It’s possible that BMW will only sell the latter model in the UK, with prices likely to start from around £65,000.
Like the firm’s recently-updated M5, BMW will fit the M3 with a selectable four-wheel-drive system, allowing the driver to send all of the engine’s power to the rear wheels if the mood takes them. The set-up is offered to compete with rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio, both of which are exclusively rear-wheel drive.
BMW will follow the trend set by Audi and Mercedes for the styling of its new compact super-saloon. As shown by our exclusive images, revisions will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, so not to discourage buyers, with the new model sharing its predecessor’s widened track, flared wheelarches, boot-mounted lip spoiler, aggressive front bumper and quad-tipped exhaust set-up.
However, there’ll be radical changes inside the new M3’s cabin, with BMW implementing its latest dashboard and centre console design from the new 3 Series. The interior rethink focuses on reducing the button count, with the majority of the car’s functions being controlled by the fresh iDrive 7.0 infotainment system.
The latest M3 should also be lighter and more agile than the previous-generation model thanks to the adoption of BMW’s new CLAR platform. BMW’s M division chief, Carsten Piers, told Auto Express: “We are aware there is a large fanbase for M cars around the world and we will do all we can to excite them and everything we can do not to disappoint them.”
What do you think of our exclusive BMW M3 images? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…